An explosive data of offshore companies is set to hit global headlines today (Sunday) other than sending shockwaves through the power centers in Pakistan. The leaked document will uncover the best-kept financial secrets of the rich and powerful of this world while naming names of the current and former leaders of different countries, public officials, billionaires, good and bad guys alike.
This treasure trove of information has been named Pandora Papers as this is in furtherance to what has earlier been discovered of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a non-profit newsroom and network of journalists centered in Washington DC received more than 11.9 million documents containing 2.94 terabytes of confidential information of service providers who are into the business of helping set up and manage offshore companies and trusts in tax-havens around the world.
The ICIJ shared the data with 150 media organisations and has led the broadest collaboration in journalism history. It took the ICIJ almost two years to organise this investigation that involved more than 600 journalists in 117 countries making it the biggest-ever journalism partnership. For the Panama Papers, almost 400 journalists from 80 countries participated in the investigation. The News was the only ICIJ partner from Pakistan on both occasions. In addition, The News also partnered with the ICIJ in Bahamas leak and Paradise Papers.
This leak has uncovered the finances of more leaders and public officials than did the Panama Papers and provide more than twice as much information about the ownership of offshore companies. Panama Papers were based on the data of a Panama-based law firm called Mossack Fonseca that revealed offshore holdings of 140 politicians, public offshore and sports stars. Those documents were obtained by the German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, which contained records dating back 40 years.
Pandora Papers are bigger in size and revelations about politicians and public officials are also more than what previously came to public attention. From Pakistan, there were more than 400 individuals who surfaced in the Panama Papers. The number of Pakistanis in Pandora Papers are way more than that. Many interesting names would make headlines.